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Posted 07/01/2021
Beginning with an iPhone and an “a-ha moment” in the beautiful San Francisco City Hall, photographer Arthur Drooker began a project that would last five years and take him across the United States to photograph the most impressive and interesting city halls in the nation. The project culminated with his wonderful book, City Hall: Masterpieces of American Civic Architecture, from Schiffer Publishing, and it brings him to the B&H Photography Podcast to discuss photographing architecture, civic pride, research and interviews, book publishing, zoom and tilt-shift lenses, and a host of other subjects related to his photography. Join us for this practical and insightful episode. “To me, the best city halls are not just office buildings to administer services, they also use architecture and design to express something about civic pride, civic virtue, and democratic engagement.” —Arthur Drooker Guest: Arthur Drooker Photograph © Arthur Drooker San Francisco City Hall rotunda © Arthur Drooker Buffalo City Hall council chamber © Arthur Drooker Cincinnati City Hall © Arthur Drooker Philadelphia City Hall © Arthur Drooker Detail of William Penn statue atop Philadelphia City Hall © Arthur Drooker San Jose City Hall interior reflections © Arthur Drooker “City Hall” book cover © Arthur Drooker “American Ruins” book cover © Arthur Drooker “Conventional Wisdom” book cover © Arthur Drooker “Pie Town Revisited” book cover © Arthur Drooker Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 03/11/2021
This is the second episode of the B&H Photography Podcast produced with the collaboration of Leica Camera, and we are pleased to welcome photographer Stella Johnson to the show. It is the “in-between moments of life” that Johnson describes as the subject of her work, work that includes books and documentary series made in Cameroon, Greece, Nicaragua, and Mexico. In this easygoing conversation, we discuss the nature of her long-term projects, and the motivations that return her to the same places year after year. We also talk about composing with rangefinder cameras, being at the eye level of your subject, and the weeks that go by without making pictures and the verbal and nonverbal communication necessary when you are invited as a photographer into a community or home, as Johnson has been. For her personal documentary work, Johnson has relied on Leica M cameras and a 35mm focal length lens. We discuss this focal distance in terms of a personal comfort zone and one that even felt safer during pandemic time. Johnson keeps her settings simple and concentrates on composition and the moment; she tends to find light and locations that she likes and waits for the images. Because Johnson’s compositions are so strong in black-and-white and her color work is minimal and adroit, we ask for her thoughts on how to work with both formats and if a fluidity between them is easy. Finally, in searching for a definition of documentary photography, we mulled over the effect of time, of returning to locations and subjects, of its distinction from photojournalism, as seeing “what life is like” and the stories of “just daily life.” Guest: Stella Johnson Photograph © Stella Johnson From “Al Sol” © Stella Johnson From “Al Sol” © Stella Johnson From “Al Sol” © Stella Johnson From “Al Sol” © Stella Johnson From “ZOI” © Stella Johnson From “ZOI” © Stella Johnson From “ZOI” © Stella Johnson From “ZOI” © Stella Johnson From “ZOI” © Stella Johnson From “RE-CREATIONS” © Stella Johnson Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C. Steiner
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Posted 12/24/2020
I think most photographers have tried to document their experience during the COVID-19 shutdown, but none have done it quite like Neil Kramer. Kramer is riding out the pandemic in a two-bedroom apartment in Queens, New York, with his 86-year-old mother and his ex-wife. Did I mention that this is the apartment in which he grew up…and that he is living with his mother and his ex-wife? Kramer has become the star of his own drama and aptly describes the process of creating this series as “part art, part desperation.” Perfectly fitting. Kramer is primarily a street and portrait photographer with a healthy Instagram following and editorial or assignment gigs, but when the streets emptied in early March, he turned to his unlikely living situation for inspiration. Initially, there was humor and novelty in his images; he enlisted his “roommates” as players, and eventually as collaborators, in these one-shot dramas. As the weeks and months passed, his diaristic Instagram feed went from funny shots of faux-fights and crowded bathrooms to more introspective and isolated posts, complete with tender and insightful commentary. On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we speak with Kramer about developing this project, about “learning to take a photo when I’m not behind the camera,” about tethering, lighting, and bribing his “cast and crew” with doughnuts. Join us for this Seinfeldian chat, which might just help us keep our humor and creative spirit alive during the most difficult of situations. Guest: Neil Kramer Photograph © Neil Kramer Quarantine in Queens, Day 11. © Neil Kramer Quarantine in Queens, Day 12. © Neil Kramer Quarantine in Queens, Day 26. © Neil Kramer Quarantine in Queens, Day 49. © Neil Kramer Quarantine in Queens, Day 70. © Neil Kramer Quarantine in Queens, Day 85. © Neil Kramer Quarantine in Queens, Day 133. © Neil Kramer Quarantine in Queens, Day 158. © Neil Kramer Quarantine in Queens, Day 222. © Neil Kramer Quarantine in Queens, Day 263. © Neil Kramer Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 01/15/2020
Imagine the privilege of being present at the creation of one of the “wonders of the world,” and then imagine being asked to document the magnitude—and the details—of that creation. Our guest on today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast has just that privilege and that responsibility and, as he puts it, this telescope may “change the way we understand our universe.” Chris Gunn has been a NASA contract photographer for almost twenty years but, for the past ten, he has dedicated himself to the James Webb Space Telescope and documenting the construction and eventual launch of this spacecraft, which will replace the Hubble as NASA’s most powerful telescope. We speak with Gunn about all aspects of his job and, specifically, about the gorgeous medium format images he creates that are made available to the public. Gunn is responsible for documenting the construction process, which includes portraits of scientists, as well as macro shots of screws, and he relates how he has “taken the extra step” to evolve as a photographer, incorporating medium format photography and detailed setups. Gunn must be prepared to shoot any style of photo and he discusses his daily responsibilities, how his gear has evolved over time, the lighting he chooses, and his interaction with the hundreds and technicians and scientists he works with regularly. We also discuss marketing yourself as a photographer and the specific challenges that make his job like no other, including working in giant “clean rooms,” accepting that your work is immediately in the public domain, and incorporating the aesthetics from science-fiction films. Sitting in on this recording is our own member of the B&H Space Force, writer Todd Vorenkamp. Join us for this fascinating episode in which we learn about this incredible spacecraft and the work that goes into documenting its creation and check out our 2016 episode, in which we speak with the imaging scientists from the  Hubble Telescope mission. Guest: Chris Gunn Above photograph © Chris Gunn Chamber A Door © Chris Gunn/NASA Blanket Inspection © Chris Gunn/NASA Wings Deployed © Chris Gunn/NASA Lights Out Inspection © Chris Gunn/NASA Container Doors © Chris Gunn/NASA Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 09/20/2017
This week, we took our mics and questions to Photoville, the free nine-day photography festival held in in the shadow of the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge. With exhibitions held in re-purposed shipping containers and on fences throughout the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn, not only does Photoville offer a variety of incredible photography series, but it integrates seamlessly into its urban home. In its sixth year, Photoville Brooklyn has grown to include evening programming, lectures, panels, and workshops. Photoville, founded and run by United Photo Industries, has expanded to seven cities with plans for three more in 2018. The wealth of visual storytelling at Photoville is impressive—in our afternoon visit we saw exhibitions from every corner of the world, touching on the important issues of our day, and passing through all photographic genres. While there, we spoke with several photographers and curators about their work, as well as Photoville co-founder Laura Roumanos. Join our conversations with Daniella Zalcman of Women Photograph on their exhibition “Insider/Outsider,” with Sergeant John Martinez of the United States Marine Corps, about the series “ Battles Won,” and with the Director of Photography of The Player’s Tribune, Nate Gordon. We also speak with Rachel Dennis and Julie Winokur, of Talking Eyes Media, about their multimedia exhibit “Newest Americans,” organized in coordination with the Center for Migration and the Global City at Rutgers University, Newark, and the VII Photo Agency. Photography festivals and workshops are a gift to photographers and non-photographers alike. Join us as we find inspiration and motivation from the incredible image-makers found at Photovilleand, if you are in New York, check out all the exhibitions and activities yourself, from September 21-24, 2017. Guests: Laura Roumanos, Daniella Zalcman, Nate Gordon, Sgt. John Martinez, and Rachel Dennis Photoville Brooklyn, with Brooklyn Bridge and downtown New York across the East River All available space at Photoville is used to exhibit photography. Interior of container exhibit, “The Blood and the Rain,” by Yael Martinez and Orlando Velazquez Allan Weitz at Photoville; photographs in background by Lynn Johnson Allan Weitz, Laura Roumanos (Co-founder and Executive Producer of Photoville), and Jason Tables Container exhibit, “Battles Won,” from United States Marine Corps Sgt. John Martinez presents his photography in the exhibit, “Battles Won.” Container exhibit, “Battles Won,” from United States Marine Corps School children visit the exhibit, “Facing Change: Documenting Detroit.” From the exhibit, “Insider/Outsider,” photograph by Yagazie Emezi From the exhibit “Insider/Outsider,” photograph by Griselda San Martin From the exhibit, “Insider/Outsider,” photograph by Annie Tritt from her project, “Transcending Self” Nate Gordon (Director of Photography, “The Player’s Tribune”) with Allan Weitz and Jason Tables New York Liberty players, photograph by Annie Flanagan/The Players' Tribune Pop Warner Football, photograph by Walter Iooss Jr./The Players' Tribune Markelle Fultz pumping gas, photograph by Sam Maller/The Players' Tribune Ricardo Lockette, photograph by Taylor Baucom/The Players Tribune “The Family Imprint,” a photo series by Nancy Borowick, is displayed on a fence in the Brooklyn neighborhood of DUMBO, near Photoville. Allan Weitz and Jason Tables at Photoville Brooklyn Previous Pause Next DON'T MISS AN EPISODE SUBSCRIBE NOW:   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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